The Nigerian Government in collaboration with the Chinese Government has commenced a five day agricultural technical training programme for forty members of staff of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The training which is aimed at building the capacity of agricultural officers was declared open by the Charge d’Affaires of Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, Mr Qin Jian.
The pioneer training programme would cover rice and vegetable cultivation, soil and fertiliser management, agriculture machinery operations, seed production and inspection.
In his opening remark the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Shehu Ahmed said the training was introduced as a follow up to President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to China in April 2016, where bilateral cooperation was intensified in the area of trade and agriculture.
He said “it is hoped that the Nigerian agricultural scientists and technicians will take the opportunity to enrich themselves with the understanding of Chinese agricultural development and its rich experience”
“This training, therefore, is to provide you with knowledge and basic skills that would enhance your competencies and productivity in the agricultural sector, he noted.
Also speaking at the opening ceremony, the Chinese Economic and Commercial Councillor in Nigeria, Mr Zhao Linxiang, said that Nigeria has abundant agricultural resources and that agriculture plays an important role in growing the national economy.
He said that the agricultural development in China and Nigeria was highly complementary, with great potentials for cooperation.
Mr. Linxiang said it was important to strengthen personnel training to enhance the agricultural cooperation between the two countries.
“This is the first time that the China-aid training courses have been held in Nigeria, which is groundbreaking, it is hoped that through this training programme experiences can be obtained and lessons learnt for similar training courses in the future”
He said for the modernisation of Nigerian agriculture, large numbers of qualified personnel including technicians and officials were necessary and agricultural capacity building should be given top most priority.